In the Trenches: How to Treat the Media

This last week, we had someone sign up for our service who writes a blog about air travel. Often, people won’t tell you when they’re trying your service out in order to write about it, but in this case, he told us right away that was his plan. That, of course, left us with a question. Should we treat him differently?

For many, I imagine the temptation is there to provide an over the top experience in order to get a good review, but that makes no sense at all to me. Sure, the review will be awesome and glowing, but what does that mean for all the people who read that review and then try out the service?

Going above and beyond the norm means that you’ll just end up setting expectations higher for anyone who read that review. Even though I think our normal level of service is pretty fantastic, adding in any sort of VIP treatment would only set the bar higher and set our future customers up for disappointment. I don’t like that idea at all.

So, we treated him just as we would any other client. I didn’t personally handle this trip but I let one of my other concierges do it, as I normally would. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t double check a couple times more than usual to make sure that he was getting the service he paid for, but I never had to do anything out of the ordinary. It’s rare that we have any sort of service failure, but I’ve talked about how that can happen on occasion on this blog. It’s just the nature of a high-touch service business.

Fortunately, I had nothing to worry about on this trip and our concierge handled everything perfectly. It helped that the client’s flights were right on time, and only a check-in glitch thanks to failed airline systems had us doing a little more legwork than usual.

Of course, we never know if the client experienced it the same way we did, but we’ll find out in this case when the review comes out. Hopefully it highlights our usual good service and provides future clients something that they can count on when they sign up.

About Brett Snyder

Brett is the Founder and President of Cranky Concierge air travel assistance. He also writes the consumer air travel blog, The Cranky Flier.
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2 comments
Brett Snyder
Brett Snyder

Very true, Steve. Would we have preferred to see him get stuck on a connection and need us to help dig him out? Definitely. That's how we can show our true worth. But in this case, that definitely wasn't going to happen since he was a nonstop flight on Virgin America, so there was just very little chance of something going wrong.What he did, however, was ask us a lot of questions after the fact about situations we've helped in. So there are at least some good stories for him to go off, but ultimately, you're right. It would have been best if he could have seen us truly in action.

Steve Kalman
Steve Kalman

Brett,You know I use you for every trip, and the regular "all is well" emails that let me know I'm being watched over are comforting, but the thing I pay for is the superb handling when things go wrong such as missed connections, flight delays, etc. That's the service I need and I figure that the times I pay for a smooth ride cover the few times a year that I have to ask you do do your magic. Getting help switching to the last available seat on an alternate when my original was maintenance delayed is just one example.Unfortunately, I can't see how a reviewer can write a thorough review unless he happens to get a problem flight. Similarly, I can't see how a reader will understand the real benefit if that isn't written up from experience.

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  1. [...] In the Trenches: How to Treat the Media – Intuit Small Business Blog We had a blogger use Cranky Concierge for a trip, and that left us thinking about if we should treat him any differently. (We didn’t.) [...]